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What About the “Ordinary” People

This has been an active week for the media, hasn’t it?  First, we learned about the break-up of Jon and Kate.  As the week progressed, we were saddened to hear about the passing of Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson.

The media coverage has been incredible…not at all unexpected, though.  This seems to be the norm.

Yes, I’m saddened by this week’s events.  My heart hurts for Jon and Kate, as it does for any couple going through a divorce (I ran into a friend this week who told me she and her husband were separated), and I can’t help but be concerned for the family and friends of those who passed away.

And yet, there’s a part of me that is frustrated.

This post means no disrespect to any person in particular…just to get that out of the way.  You know how I am.  I am a compassionate person.  I genuinely hurt when I hear of others’ trials.

However, I tend to be practical.

What I don’t understand is why we are infatuated with famous people.  Why do their ups and downs make the news…and stay in the news?  Entire broadcasts are devoted to such events, and the public watches.

I am concerned with the way the public elevates these people…even to the point of worship.

And yet, you don’t often hear about your average Joe or Sue.  Joe might not be famous, but maybe he spends one weekend a month making sandwiches for the homeless.  Maybe he is a simple man. living a quiet existence, helping out wherever he sees a need.

What about Sue, a woman who stays home, volunteers in her church and childrens’ schools and remains devoted to her husband throughout her life.  Maybe you know a Sue who struggles to balance the demands of a family and a job, or maybe Sue is a single, unemployed woman who does all she can just to get through each day.

Sure, these people may not do anything spectacular…according to the world’s standards.  They may not invent new dance moves, sing a song that people know word-for-word, or, basically, live their lives in front of the cameras.  But still, they make a difference to those around them.  Their lives touch other non-famous people’s lives.

How do we decide that certain people are more news-worthy and allow the ordinary people to remain obscure, scarcely getting mention when they stay married, separate, or pass on?

I guess I’m feeling a bit disillusioned.  I’ll admit…I’ve sometimes gotten caught up in the frenzy.  I remember when Princess Diana died.  My eyes were glued to the television for weeks, and an overwhelming sadness enveloped my heart.

But, even during that time, I wondered, as I did yesterday after hearing about MJ and FF’s passings…did they walk with God?

Am I the only person wondering this?  Am I the only person who, upon hearing about the passing of a person asks myself this question?

Because, people, this is the only thing that really matters in the end.

Does it really matter what famous and “ordinary” people do in their lives if, at the end, they didn’t have a relationship with the Lord?

As I watched the news this morning, I kept hearing about the “spirituality” of one of the people who passed away.

Ugh.  I cannot stand that word.  It can be all-encompassing and inclusive.  Ultimately, it is actually exclusive if it doesn’t refer to the One and Only God of the Universe.

I’m sorry.  I know I stepped onto my soapbox today.  I certainly haven’t meant to sound preachy.  I guess I just get frustrated because I think we tend to get our priorities way out of whack.  What the world considers important is not important to God.

Will I watch special tributes on TV?  Probably not, although I will remember Michael Jackson’s dance moves as I am a child of the 80’s and grew up trying to figure out how to do the moonwalk.

Frankly, I choose to quietly celebrate the lives of those I know…the mom who has a disabled child and defied the doctors’ advice to abort.  Her faith in God is strong, and she and her family live out this faith daily.  I will celebrate the life of a woman who followed God’s command to help those persecuted avoid detection…risking her own life in the process (this was Corrie ten Boom). After being miraculously freed from a concentration camp, Corrie ten Boom founded a home for others, like her, who had been held against their will and needed a place to heal.  She even had the opportunity to meet one of her tormentors face-to-face and forgave him on the spot.  What an inspiration to me!

In my opinion, these are the real celebrities.

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